To get the most out of visual astronomy, regular camera accessories just won’t cut it. We’re talking taking clear, vibrant pictures of the beautiful stars above, and to achieve this, you’ll need a high-quality telescope designed specifically for astrophotography. Telescopes work hand-in-hand with your camera to generate enough magnifying power to explore and capture the cosmos on a more personal level. The clarity of your final image depends largely on the quality of the telescope you end up buying.
Best Telescopes for Astrophotography Under $500
In this guide, we will go over some of the best telescopes in the market that are ideal for astrophotography and cost-effective enough to suit anyone’s budget.
1. Orion Adventures in Astrophotography Bundle
The Orion Adventures in Astrophotography Bundle is a great product to kick off our list with. This all-inclusive bundle comes packed with all you need to take stunning photos of the galaxy with your camera. Perfect for hobbyists and newbies. With just a few pieces of extra gadgets, the galaxy is literally at your disposal.
- Great compatibility with phones and digital cameras to capture mind-blowing photos.
- Is very affordable and offers added value.
- Easy to use.
2. Celestron – NexStar 130SLT Computerized Telescope
The Celestron – NexStar 130SLT Computerized Telescope is another state of the art hobbyist telescope that boasts of superb functionality and affordability. It is very compact and portable and has an outstanding database of more than 40,000 celestial bodies with accurate tracking. It is very easy to use and comes with a large aperture to ensure a view as wide as possible.
- Compact and lightweight.
- Automatic star-locating feature.
- Great aperture for the best experience.
3. Orion 09007 SpaceProbe 130ST Equatorial Reflector Telescope
This product boasts of great functionality with impressive portability and automated tracking. The SpaceProbe 130ST Equatorial Reflector Telescope has a parabolic reflector that accumulates more than enough light for great views of the galaxy, hence great photos. Hitched with a phone or camera, it is the ideal starter kit for the astrophotography enthusiast.
- Is affordable.
- Efficient f/5 focal ratio for stunning wide-angle views.
- Portable, durable, and lightweight.
4. Celestron AstroMaster 114EQ Newtonian Telescope
The Celestron AstroMaster 114EQ Newtonian Telescope emphasizes out of the box use and comes with extra accessories including a finderscope. It is ideal for both land and astronomical use as it yields an erect image and is very easy to set up. It makes tracking easy and yields clear and crisp images.
- Easy to set up and is affordable.
- Sturdy, lightweight, and portable frame.
- Great for both land and astronomical use.
5. Orion 6 Inch f/4 Newtonian Astrograph Reflector Telescope
The Orion f/4 Newtonian Astrograph Reflector Telescope is specially designed to make the most of astrophotography to yield high definition photos and enhance image clarity and sharpness. It is compact and lightweight, making it very portable and is the ideal starter kit for astrophotography enthusiasts.
- 6-inch aperture reflector for clean, clear image results.
- Compact, lightweight, and very portable.
- Great monetary value.
Telescopes for Astrophotography Buying Guide
Telescopes for astrophotography combine the magnification power of regular telescopes with enhancements for image capturing support. With the right telescope for astrophotography, you can capture stunning scenery the cosmos have to offer at great distances.
Choosing the right telescopes for astrophotography pools together a set of considerations we will now look at.
Our buying guide reviews the best telescopes for astrophotography on the market to help you compare them and choose the right gadget that fits your needs.
The aperture of your telescope plays a vital role in the image size and resolution. A larger aperture telescope accommodates more light and gives you the possibility of a more condensed image. and is great for capturing planets and celestial bodies. Greater apertures, however, translate into bulkier, more expensive units.
The next consideration to make is the focal length. To quickly outline, greater focal lengths are awesome for taking outstanding images of the moon and other planets. But it also means that your telescope will almost certainly be bulkier, with a more limited field of view.
A smaller focal length allows you to take wide-field photographs, great for deep-space astrophotography. Also, telescopes with smaller focal lengths are usually smaller and more portable. It is a balance between the required image quality and magnification that will guide your final choice.
The mount of your telescope is one of the most important accessories you can get. Most mounts will hold up both your telescope and camera, giving all the support as you tinker with zoom and focus. Most mounts come as Altazimuth mounts, which are basic and manually adjustable, and the equatorial mounts which are usually electronic and much better in terms of accuracy and control.
You can go a step further and opt for computerized equatorial mounts that take care of most of the cumbersome work for you. Some feature tracking, and come with databases for celestial bodies.
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